Males generally drink alcohol more than females do and have higher rates of alcohol use disorder and other health consequences associated with high-risk drinking; yet the gender gap is closing. In the past decade, women have shown dramatically steeper increases in alcohol use, risky drinking, and alcohol use disorder relative to men. This is highly concerning since the evidence is indisputable that women who drink alcohol experience its adverse effects, including addiction, more rapidly and intensely compared to men who drink similar amounts. While there are common biological and environmental factors associated with alcohol misuse and addiction across males and females, there also are notable differences. Despite this, alcohol-related policies, programs, and interventions do not adequately address these important differences. A comprehensive approach is needed that takes into account sex differences in motivations for alcohol use, consequences of alcohol use, barriers to treatment, and treatment and recovery needs.
Neuroscience of Alcohol: Mechanisms and Treatment. 2019. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-813125-1.00003-9.